There are three main causes of block paving drainage problems:

Block Paving Drainage Problems – Laying on a Concrete Base

If there’s a fall (slope that drains either naturally or to installed drainage) blocks can be laid and there shouldn’t be a problem.

However, if there’s isn’t a fall (so water doesn’t drain away) then water will simply sit underneath the blocks and this will cause organic growth (weed and grass) and worse this will make the blocks lift.

The only remedy to this problem is to resinstall the driveway.

Nobody wants this problem (see below) do they?

Block Paving Drainage Problems – Minimal  Aggregate (stone) Sub Base

As unbelievable as it seems it has been known for some block paving driveway installers to lay block paving on a bed of sand without first installing a suitable sub base!

This type of shoddiness is less common now but for many years a lot of block paving driveways were laid like this.

Improved block paving manufacturing, better training and increased levels of professionalism have all helped to put an end to this.

But it still happens so be in the know!

These types of installation are easy to spot.

They’re the ones with large ‘ruts’ where a vehicle has been rolling over the same spot.

Over time the ruts get deeper and the blocks start to break away from eachother.

concrete blocks

What Has Made this Block Paving Sink?

Block Paving Drainage Problems – Poor Fit Channel Drainage

Linear drainage (channel drainage) systems are used extensively on many driveway installations.

And remember: further to SUDs legislation permission is needed if water drains to the public highway.

Therefore many block paving installations now have channel drainage fitted as standard. The types of channel drainage range from block that blend in nicely, like below:

channel drainage

Large Block Paving Channel Drainage

To Aco or Clark channel drainage systems (with either metal or plastic grills/lids).

galvanised-steel-driveway-drainage

Block Paving with Metal Channel Drainage

 

plastic channel drainage

Block paving with Plastic Channel Drainage

Unfortunately, there are some very cheap types of channel drainage systems mainly sold by DIY chains and online shops.

These cheap types of channel drainage twist and do not have large weight bearing capacities.

pressure-wash-driveway-drainage

Cheap Channel Drainage Lifts and Buckles (with or without weeds!)

But the worst (not the best) of problems has been saved for last.

Look at the picture below.

Not only has this block paving been laid on a concrete base with no soakaway installation but cheap and nasty drainage channels have been used.

So you get the worst of both scenarios and it’s obvious that any

So where is the water going to drain to?

block paving channel drainage

Block Paving Laid on Concrete with pointless Channel Drainage Installation

Read more on soakaways

At drivewaywise we often hear stories of shoddy work.

Surprisingly (or not) the main source of this are often those looking to make a quick buck with property renovations.

It’s hardly ever homeowners simply looking to improve the look and value of their home.

This type of poor practice reflects badly on the majority of driveway installers that create marvelous driveways.

And there are many talented professionals out there.

Most homeowners are looking to get a decent installation and avoid future headaches such as their driveway surface sinking or ruts appearing.

Here at Drivewaywise we take the time to explain the pros and cons of driveway surfacing products.

This helps to enhance the reputation of the driveway industry and bring to light instances of poor practice. 

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